Los Mejores Destinos en Guatemala
Estos son los destinos más destacados en Guatemala — la lista incluye extensos lagos tropicales, una encantadora ciudad colonial, y las mejores ruinas Mayas en el mundo. Visitar estos destinos le asegura a los viajeros una experiencia guatemalteca completamente auténtica. Podrá explorar templos Mayas, conquistar la cima de volcanes, y pasearse por hermosas calles adoquinadas al estilo del siglo XVIII. Todos estos destinos ofrecen una gran variedad de opciones de alojamiento, y usualmente poseen una gran selección de restaurantes para escoger.
On trips to Antigua, you can arrange for a memorable mix of architectural, cultural, and volcano tours. It served as the capital of Guatemala from 1543 until 1773, and the nobility left behind some beautiful architecture.
The town is most famous for its colonial architecture, which you can see on educational walking tours of the city, where you'll learn about the many times the city had to be rebuilt — local Maya burned it down in 1524, it was buried by an avalanche in 1541, and an earthquake leveled the city in 1773. You can learn more about this dramatic history at the museums inside the Palacio de Ayuntamiento and the Casa Santo Domingo Hotel.
Incredible scenery surrounds the city, and it beckons travelers to explore. You can hike to the peaks of the Agua, Acatenango, and Pacaya volcanoes. Cloud forests in the area mean you can take interesting bird watching tours. For more local culture, follow a guide to traditional markets in towns where there are large Maya populations, like the nearby town of Chichicastenango.
Visitors have flocked to Panajachel since the 1960s, when it emerged as a popular hippie destination. It can serve as a comfortable home base while you explore the lake and its scenic surroundings.
Get out onto the lake to kayak to attractions that you can't see anywhere but Lake Atitlán — like Santa Catarina Palopó, one of the many villages in the area where you can meet modern-day Mayans and shop for local handicrafts. See more nature on a tour around the perimeter of the lake, on a biking or horseback riding tour.
Stay in accommodations with glorious views of the lake and boutique interiors. In contrast to the tranquil surface of Lake Atitlán, Panajachel’s nightlife includes a few boisterous spots where you can grab a few drinks. During the day, you can find sunny cafés that serve fresh fruit smoothies and high-end restaurants that cater to an out-of-town crowd.
Travelers on their way to see Semuc Champey and the Lanquín caves typically spend the night in the nearest town, Lanquín. Lanquin is also the setting-off point for rafting tours of the class III and class IV rapids of the Río Cahabón. This is a remote town that takes a bit of a bumpy ride to reach, but it’s well worth it to see the incredible formations that the river has carved into the limestone terrain.
It take a bit of athleticism to get into the Lanquín Caves, so get ready for a bit of a squeeze. Inside, a rope keeps you from getting lost — only a small portion of the cave is open to visitors. Your guide will provide a cave to illuminate the dramatic interior.
Semuc Champey is the showstopper. Climb to a high-up viewing platform to observe its jewel-toned pools separated by thin walls of limestone. From the ground, you can admire how the river flows from one pool to the next, in a series of mini waterfalls. Spend your afternoon swimming in the pools and lounging on the rocks. Simple accommodations in the area offer practical places to unwind between caving, rafting, and nature walks.
Guatemala is home of the modern-day Maya, and the town of Quetzaltenango is known locally by its Mayan nickname, Xela. There’s an interesting contrast in cultures here, with distinctly European architecture lining the streets. While you're here, you can opt for upscale hotels that echo the grand look of the colonial surroundings.
Experience more Maya culture on a tour of the local villages of Nebaj and Chajul. On the way, you might see villagers making a local specialty of black salt.
You can take a ride down the city streets in an old-fashioned tram car. A guided city tour might take you to see a Guatemalan cemetery, where you can start to appreciate the elaborate traditions that celebrate the dead. Tours of the colonial era churches introduce you to the city’s rich history.
Venture outside the city to see natural wonders like Santa Maria Volcano. You might take a longer trip out to Lake Atitlán, which you can tour on a bike or a boat ride.